By Mr. Ed Worley (Army Contracting Command)July 21, 2014
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala.--In what personnel officials are calling a win-win for the Army Contracting Command, two headquarters staff members here are becoming contract specialists.
Philip Garrison, a quality assurance specialist in Contracting Operations, moved to the ACC-Redstone contracting center in June. LaTonya Robinson, a paralegal in the Office of Chief Counsel, is scheduled to begin her reclassification journey July 28, also at ACC-Redstone.
Barbara Flores, ACC Reshape Team, ACC Deputy Chief of Staff, Human Capital, G-1, said their reclassification is a win-win for the command because it reduces the headquarters staff while growing and developing the contracting workforce. ACC, like all Army two-star and above headquarters, has been directed by the Army to reduce its staff by 25 percent by the end of fiscal year 2019.
Garrison and Robinson said they chose to reclassify because of the potential for advancement in the 1102 contracting career field.
"It opens up my career," Robinson said. "It expands it big time."
"The advancement opportunities are only limited by your own ambition," he added. "If you work hard, the opportunities are there."
Both pointed out that contracting professionals can rise to Senior Executive Service level.
They began their reclassification journey by responding to canvass announcements generated by the ACC Reshape Team. They met the academic requirements: Garrison has a bachelor's degree in business administration with superior academic achievement; Robinson holds a master's degree in human behavior and a bachelor's in criminal justice. Flores said the two are the first at the headquarters to reclassify into the 1102 career field during the current reshaping effort.
Robinson, a retired Navy senior chief petty officer, describes herself as a person of service and plans to carry that character trait to her new career field. She said her work as a contract specialist will give her assurance that "someone out there is being taken care of."
"I know what it feels like to need something," she said, referring to her times afloat and waiting for the ship's supplies to be replenished.
Garrison, also a Navy veteran, hopes to take his QAS experience and use it to be an advocate for the quality assurance workforce in the contracting community.
"The more that quality is understood and utilized properly the more efficiently quality products and services can reach the warfighter on time and on cost," he said